SHANGHAI, Mar. 28 (SMM)--According to nonferrous metals output data from CNIA (China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association), domestic zinc concentrate output in February was 186 kt, down 13.14% MoM, and YTD output from January to February was 400.2 kt, down 3.98% YoY.
Operating rates at mining enterprises have been low both before and after the Chinese New Year holiday since some mining enterprises have suspended production, especially those in north China which suspended dressing and were only maintaining mining operations due to the cold weather. Most mining enterprises in Inner Mongolia suspended dressing due to the cold weather. Operating rates will gradually rise in March and April. Dressing operations at some mining enterprises in southwest China were affected by power shortages during the low-water period.
Domestic mines all cut output due to the falling zinc prices since early March, causing operating rates to decline again. Greater numbers of zinc smelters were reporting zinc concentrate supply shortages this year, which caused lower operating rates. Raw material supplies for small and medium-size enterprises have become even tighter since domestic mining enterprises cut output, while costs for imported raw material will be higher due to the falling import TC. In this context, output at smelters will be affected due to raw material shortages.
According to nonferrous metals output data from CNIA, domestic zinc output for February 2011 was 392.4 kt, up 1.3% MoM. YTD output from January to February was 779.7 kt, up 5.59% YoY.
There are six provinces which reported output above 30,000 mt during February, and which accounted for 74.72% of total domestic output. Output from Hunan province was the largest contributor.
According to a SMM survey of domestic major smelters, the average operating rate at domestic zinc smelters was 82.36% from January to February 2011, down from 82.62% YoY. However, zinc output was up due to capacity expansion.
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